Christina Plank

In-between Boundaries: A State-Theoretical Analysis of the Emerging Agrofuels Sector in Ukraine.

Ukraine, as one of the most promising agricultural regions in the world, is considered a potential major producer of agrofuels by the member states of the European Union. Thus, the country could contribute an essential part toward fulfilling the EU Renewable Energy Directive of 2009. Furthermore, Ukraine supports the production of agrofuels on its territory through different political measures.

Therefore, the main question of the dissertation project is: what are the political-institutional conditions for the development of the agrofuels sector in Ukraine, i.e. what role does the state play within the international context of the emergence of the agrofuels sector? The analysis will focus on the type of regulations that arise which foster the production of agrofuels, the interests reflected as well as the interests that are marginalized within the regulations. Potential opposition is crucial for the analysis as are the social-ecological consequences of agrofuels production. The theoretical framework of the dissertation is based on critical state theory as well as on approaches of political ecology. The research project employs qualitative methods and will apply content analysis, interviews and participatory observation to obtain the required data.

The dissertation is part of the DOC-team “Causing Ignition: Biofuels and Social-Ecological Conflicts” (in cooperation with Alina Brad and Anke Schaffartzik) which is funded by the Austrian Academy of Sciences.